$1.4-billion Powerball lottery: Ain’t greed grand?
, Toronto Sun
First posted: Monday, January 11, 2016 07:11 PM EST | Updated: Monday, January 11, 2016 08:24 PM EST
TORONTO - Life’s funny, eh?
Look at David Bowie. He sang his heart out for 50 years, had countless hits, reinvented music, married a supermodel and left a $230-million estate when he died Monday, age 69.
On Wednesday, some tone-deaf peon may accumulate five times that wealth — quicker than you can say, “Ground control to Major Tom.”
America’s Powerball lottery prize went unclaimed on the weekend and has swelled to US$1.4 billion, the biggest jackpot in world history. That’s $1.9 billion Cdn.
It’s about what composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, richest man in music, is worth.
There’s a 293 million-to-one chance you’ll win Wednesday’s Powerball, which, come to think of it, is better than your odds of being Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Ground control to major greed.
(Editor’s note: Strobel, what are you, president of Gamblers Anonymous? We thought you were a libertarian.)
Fear not, dear avaricious boss.
Lotteries such as Powerball may turn placid citizens into drooling, grasping greedmeisters.
But that’s a good thing. Greed makes capitalism go ’round. It gets things done. It is what separates us from apes and Habs fans.
True, winning a big lottery contributes less to mankind than, say, revolutionizing pop music. Lotteries are a shortcut through such nuisances as school, training, hard work and sleeping with the boss. Luck is greed’s great equalizer.
Lotteries defy all logic and reason. They are even recession proof — ticket sales are unharmed by economic downturns.
But it’s the greedy thought that counts.
What a shame that greed gets a bad rap. Star athletes, politicians and CEOs are all decried as “greedy.” But, really, they want what we all want: Everything we can get our mitts on.
Alex Rodriguez, Pamela Wallin and Bill Gates are just better at it than most of us.
Christianity considers greed one of the seven deadly sins, though not among the Christians of Bay St.
A cynic might suggest lotteries combine greed with another of the deadly seven, sloth.
But that’s unfair. Pride is a big “sin,” too. But we revere pride — as we should admire greed.
Greed lights a fire under your ***, even if only to trot down to the corner store to buy tickets.
For Powerball, that’s a long trot, to the nearest border crossing. You can also get your ticket through a third-party website, but buyer beware.
There are complicated payout and tax hurdles, unlike Canadian lotteries. Still, even with the 30% levy on a foreign winner, you’d net more than $1 billion in Canadian currency.
The numbers are so unimaginable that Powerball digital signs can’t even show the true jackpot — they only go up to a measly $999 million.
If you win, good time. Opportunity just knocked — on the door of the Playboy Mansion. It’s for sale for $200 million and comes with 20,000 square feet, 29 rooms, five acres, a pool and a legendary grotto — and Hugh Hefner.
Hef stays. That’s the deal. If you buy the place, he might let you borrow his pyjamas.
Or you may wish to put your winnings elsewhere — after you’ve shown your gratitude to me for reminding you to get a ticket.
We’ll all be thankful if you pay down some of Ontario’s massive debt, or shave a third off this year’s deficit, but we won’t hold our breath. Give it to the Wynne Liberals?
You’re greedy, not stupid.
Strobel’s column usually runs Monday to Thursday. Hear him at 94.9 The Rock FM Tuesday and Thursday mornings.
$1.4-billion Powerball lottery: Ainâ€™t greed grand? | Strobel | Toronto & GTA | N
Toronto bakery serving up U.S. Powerball tickets
, Toronto Sun
First posted: Monday, January 11, 2016 09:03 PM EST | Updated: Monday, January 11, 2016 09:07 PM EST
TORONTO - Lisa Guluzian hopes that on Wednesday, she’ll be the baker giving away all the dough.
The operator of World Class Bakery, on St. Clair Ave. W., is getting in on the hype surrounding the record Powerball lottery jackpot in the U.S.
Over the next two days, the shop will being giving away up to 300 tickets for the $1.4-billion draw to customers who spend more than $20.
The promotion has already had people driving from across the city to pick up a little extra banana bread, Guluzian said.
“It’s just to cheer people up,” she said of the giveaway. “We’re in a recession, let’s forget about it for awhile.”
Guluzian said the shop, which has been in the neighbourhood for 15 years, did the same thing about a decade ago when the Powerball jackpot reached a mere $340 million. Customers had fun with it so the shop decided to buy some tickets in the U.S. and bring them back to give away.
“Everybody wants freedom,” added Guluzian. “It’s all about freedom. Everybody wants that dream. Until Wednesday at (10) p.m., everybody is going to dream that they’re the winner.”
Canadians can play the U.S. lottery but if they win, they’ll have to fork over a share of it to the taxman. Even knowing that, Raffaela Andreano, a regular at the bakery, scooped up a loaf of banana bread and a ticket Monday.
And just by chance, Andreano’s ticket happened to have her lucky numbers on it.
“I think it’s crazy,” she said of the massive jackpot. “I think it’s good, but it’s too much money. It would actually give me a heart attack if I won.”
But Andreano doesn’t have much trouble imagining what she’d do with the cash after she recovered from the shock.
“First, I’d spend some on myself,” she said. “Then I’d give to charities and help out some people — whoever needs the help.”
Customer Petee Chios said he thinks the promotion is all about spreading joy. He praised the bakery, which he dubbed his “retirement home,” as a great community business.
“She’s got a big heart,” he said of Guluzian. “You have to know her, she’s the best.”
Guluzian said she will hang on to a few tickets for friends and family but hopes that the winning ticket comes from her shop. But when asked if she’d sell her secret banana bread recipe for the $1.4-billion prize, she paused.
“I’d have to think about it,” she said, laughing. “Because it’s a real secret.”
Toronto bakery serving up U.S. Powerball tickets | Toronto & GTA | News | Toront
Can a Canadian win the Powerball? You sure can
First posted: Monday, January 11, 2016 01:26 PM EST | Updated: Monday, January 11, 2016 02:23 PM EST
So you want to cash in on Wednesday's US$1.4-billion
the world's biggest ever draw. Here's what you need to know:
Can I play the Powerball lottery, even though I'm Canadian?
You bet you can. No citizenship required to win.
How do I buy a ticket?
Take a drive. The only way to legally purchase a Powerball ticket is from a licenced retailer. So while you don't have to be American to win, you have to be in the U.S. to buy your ticket. There are online operators who claim to buy tickets on your behalf, but Powerball warns against these unregulated services.
What kind of tax can I expect to pay if I win?
A winner would have the option of being paid through annual payments over 29 years or opting for one smaller cash payment. Canada doesn't tax lottery jackpots (except as income -- so brace for it). The U.S., however, has a special tax just for gambling wins -- it's 25% for citizens, but 30% for us non-Americans. Also keep in mind that winning is a very big 'if.' The odds are one in 292.2 million.
So what does that leave me with?
Even with 30% knocked off, you'll still end up with $980 million over annual payments, so you're not likely going to starve. Also consider, with the dollar where it is right now, that actually amounts to about $1.4 billion in Canadian dollars. So if you think of it like that, it might cushion the blow.
Can a Canadian win the Powerball? You sure can | Canada | News | Toronto Sun